SRINAGAR, India – India's home ministry says government troops in disputed Kashmir have been asked to stop counterinsurgency operations during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The ministry in a series of tweets on Wednesday said the decision was made so that Muslims can observe the holy month "in a peaceful environment."
Another tweet said Indian troops "reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people."
No rebel group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about the announcement.
Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding Indian-controlled Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or unified with the Pakistani-controlled part as an independent country.